BOULDER — Few athletes can leave their mark in high school. Even fewer do it on the court and in the classroom. Recent Jefferson High graduate Emily McGinnis is on that short list to do both.
The Panther finished her volleyball career with school records of 15 kills in a set, 512 kills in a season and 1,276 career kills and she is the only Jefferson High player to be named all-state twice.
“I would spend a lot of time after practice working on it with my coach just for hours,” said McGinnis. “It’s basically just practice and dedication. That’s just the most fun part of the game for me and I’ve spent a lot of time working on it, so those were my goals — to break school records. And I’m really happy that I accomplished that.”
McGinnis has that same focus in the classroom, too. She graduated second in her class and knew exactly where her next athletic and educational challenge would be.
“I want to go into engineering, so Montana Tech was an obvious contender,” McGinnis said. “When I went and visited Tech it was just the environment and the coaching, the players that were really friendly and really welcoming, and my dad went to Tech.”
The connection between engineering and volleyball makes complete sense once you hear McGinnis breakdown the sport.
“At the risk of sounding like a nerd, the way that you jump and the angle that you jump and the torque of your body helps you hit differently,” she said. “The way everything comes together and how quick the game is — it’s a quick, fast game, it makes you think a lot. A lot of people watching it probably don’t understand how much goes into it, but if your team isn’t flowing together well it won’t play well. It’s really just the coming together aspect of it.”
It seems like things are coming together for McGinnis.